Harriett Baldwin, minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, has announced a major new jobs creation and investment programme during a visit to Ghana.
The UK’s £20 million Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET) Programme will help create over 15,000 jobs for Ghanaians and is expected to facilitate over £50 million of additional private sector investment.
No country can defeat poverty and leave aid dependency behind without sustainable economic growth, jobs, trade and investment. As part of their vision to move beyond aid, the Government of Ghana have welcomed this UK support which will trigger long-term economic growth which will allow them to provide vital services for their own people and become a key future business partner for the UK.
Minister Baldwin also announced a three-day UK-Ghana Investment Summit which will be held in Accra this October. More than fifty British companies and major investors will be brought together to explore new commercial opportunities in sectors such as financial and legal services, agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
The United Kingdom is already Ghana’s second largest trading partner and this Summit hopes to open up further opportunities between the two countries.
During her visit, Minister Baldwin met President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Minister for Foreign Affairs Shirley Botchway, discussing the UK’s continued support for the President’s ambition to move Ghana beyond aid and to a modern partnership with the UK.
She also met Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen to discuss diversification and industrialisation in the economy and how the UK and Ghana can best work together to deliver prosperity and long-term growth for both countries.
Minister Baldwin said: “The UK and Ghana have a long-standing friendship based on shared values, our Commonwealth ties, and strong links between our people. Our new Jobs and Economic Transformation programme will attract millions of pounds of private sector investment, including exciting opportunities for UK businesses, as well as creating thousands of new jobs here in Ghana.
Under President Akufo-Addo, the country is making remarkable strides towards a Ghana beyond aid. This is why we are building a modern partnership which will deliver prosperity and growth for both of our countries, by unlocking new opportunities for UK and Ghanaian businesses and investment.”
The Minister visited the Blue Skies factory to see how UK investment through CDC, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, is creating jobs and spurring business in Ghana. Blue Skies is a British business founded in Ghana that works with small agricultural producers to export fruit and fruit products to the UK and elsewhere.
The factory now employs over 3,500 Ghanaians and supports many small businesses through its supply chain.